FBR freezes Telenor bank accounts due to income tax default
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) freezes Telenor’s bank accounts due to its failure to pay income tax amounting to around 3.5 billion rupees.
It has come to light from credible sources that FBR has taken major collection action against Telenor Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd due to its default of income tax amounting to around Rs 3.5 billion.
This amount is owed by Telenor to the Government of Pakistan as back taxes from previous years, which Telenor has not paid.
It has also been learned that all appellate courts as well as the Islamabad High Court have dismissed Telenor’s appeals and ordered the company to pay government dues. However, the Norway-based telecommunications company, as of March 28, 2022, was unwilling to settle its liability and pay the amount due to the state treasury.
Sources said that the Execution Area of the Islamabad Large Taxpayers Office initiated the collection process and seized Telenor’s bank accounts in all major banks in the country.
In addition, FBR has also issued notices to various other third parties who hold cash or other assets on behalf of or payable to Telenor.
It is pertinent to mention that under the income tax law, a default in payment can be recovered by the tax department from any third party holding money or assets in favor of the defaulter.
Sources further revealed that these third party collections were initiated by the large taxpayers office and that FBR will soon be sending notices to all Telenor franchises across the country for direct collection of the amounts they have to pay. in favor of Telenor.
In addition, FBR’s Large Taxpayer Office also addresses the issue of Telenor’s major failure with its head office located in Norway through its international tax wing, to enforce Telenor’s compliance with Pakistan’s domestic tax laws.
Sources also said that FBR is planning to freeze and liquidate all financial assets of Telenor Pakistan to affect the recovery of the outstanding tax amount, which includes the company’s investments in mutual funds, Treasury, investment bonds, sukuk and TDRs.
Sources further revealed that notices are also expected to be issued to the Excise and Revenue Department to seize all vehicles appearing in Telenor’s name, while CDA and Gulberg will be directed to seize all Telenor real estate under the tax law until their default is paid. entirely to the public treasury.
Telenor Pakistan’s General Affairs Manager, Kamal Ahmed, on a question from this scribe, said that as a law-abiding and ethical corporate citizen, Telenor Pakistan takes a very responsible approach in meeting its tax obligations. due in a timely manner; and we are extremely proud of our position as one of the main contributors to the public purse.
“We recently received a notice from the Federal Board of Revenue for the collection of a disputed tax claim adding that we had reservations about these alleged tax claims and disputed the notice and appealed the order within the hierarchy. of the Islamabad High Court,” he said. .